Yesterday we discussed goals and there need to stretch yourself in education and skill development. Today I would like to continue the discussion on how to implement this goal.
Let’s say, for an example, you have the goal to become a writer. In theory, this goal is a wonderful goal and within the realm of probability. But how do you get there? What do you need to do to reach your goal? Do you know what skills and tools you may need to gain to become a good or even great writer? Will you want to write novels, content for websites, or be a writer of short stories? What do you want to do with your work?
In my journey over the past year, I have found writing was the simplest part of the manuscript process. My initial mistake in learning how to write was like those of so many writers before me. I just wrote what I liked and knew best. Starting out this way was like making something by hand. While there was great personal satisfaction in the finished product it did not sell setting on my shelf at home. I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
The first thing I didn’t know was I wrote my thoughts into words on paper was they were not always cohesive and very difficult to read, let alone understand. I self-published my first book. But I continued my novels. I thought the more books I wrote, the more book sales I would achieve. After five books and halfway through my sixth, I realized other than friends and family my books were not selling. So, I turned to the internet, social media and professional networks to find out what I didn’t know about writing. What I found was there’s much more knowledge needed than just the ability to read and write.
To my surprise, I soon found mentors, published authors whose book’s actually sold, in my social media network prepared to help me understand the writing process. I learned about editing, book cover design, the need of Beta Readers, the importance of a list of book reviewers to get an honest review of your book. Then I learned about the pitfalls of Vanity publishers and the value of book displays and promotion. The moral of the story: Make a plan outlining what you need to do to become what you want to be whether it’s a writer, a nurse, a doctor or even a pilot. Once your plan is done, work the plan.